WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- Don't drink and drive was the theme earlier this month during Heineken USA's annual holiday party at its USA headquarters on Hamilton Avenue in White Plains.
For a 13th consecutive year, Heineken said it is partnering with the City of White Plains and White Plains Business Improvement District as sponsors of the "New Year, Safe Rides" program, providing free rides home anywhere in Westchester County from 11 p.m. until 3 a.m. on Jan. 1, 2017.
The global beer giant handed out UBER discount ride cards and offered a sneak preview of a corporate television ad featuring retired Formula 1 race car driver Sir Jackie Stewart. A link to the ad is here. (There's a surprise ending.)
Ronald den Elzen, president and chief executive officer, said traditions, integrity and health are very important to the company owned by family the past 150 years, and based in White Plains since 1992.
"We are very proud to be here in White Plains,'' den Elzen said. "To build our roots here is very special and important."
In White Plains, the Safe Rides program has provided free and safe rides home to more than 4,200 Westchester County residents of legal drinking age.
On New Year's Eve, White Plains' Safe Rides transportation stand will be at the corner of East Post Road and Mamaroneck Avenue between 11 p.m. Dec. 31 until 3 a.m. on Jan. 1. A fleet of 30 cars, including at least one that is disabled accessible, will provide free rides home for those 21 and older going anywhere across Westchester.
Also speaking during the holiday party about the danger of drinking and driving were Carole Sears of Larchmont, president of the Westchester Chapter of Mothers Against Drunken Driving (MADD) and U.S. Rep. Nita Lowey, D-Harrison.
“Driving under the influence is a threat to public safety locally, regionally and nationally all year-round, particularly during the holiday season,” said Lowey, who represents Westchester and Rockland counties. "I’m pleased that industry leaders are working with government to protect lives in our community by getting New Yorkers home safely this holiday season.”
The 17th annual White Plains New Year’s Eve Spectacular starts at 10 p.m. on Dec. 31 at Main and Court streets. There will be a DJ and live music from Larger than Life, a group of versatile and nationally recognized performers. They feature "The Ultimate Boyband Tribute," singing hits from The Jackson 5, The Beatles, The Temptations, Four Seasons, Backstreet Boys, NSYNC and more. Revelers will ring in 2017 with a ball drop, confetti and dazzling firework display at midnight.
“White Plains has become the ‘go to’ place to celebrate New Year's Eve in Westchester County,” said White Plains Mayor Tom Roach. "I would like to thank Heineken USA for once again sponsoring a very important aspect of this event, the New Year. Safe Ride. program. Through their support, they are helping to keep this wonderful tradition safe and fun in our city.”
Globally, Heineken’s commitment to community comes to life through its "Brewing a Better World" platform. To learn more about Heineken USA’s sustainability initiatives, click here .
“Heineken USA is honored to call the city of White Plains our home. As a family-owned business, we are dedicated to protecting our home," said Tara Rush, senior vice president and chief corporate relations officer at Heineken USA. "The safety of our city, and the communities in which we live, work and play, is a priority during the holiday season and throughout the year."
Rush said that Heineken encourages individuals 21 and older to always drink responsibly "no matter the occasion."